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My Bride is a Mermaid – Part 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

July 11, 2010 by  



There have been a few anime/mermaid series throughout the past two decades but “My Bride is a Mermaid” is probably the most humorous of them all.  Definitely a fun, vibrant and cool anime series!

Image courtesy of © FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: My Bride is a Mermaid – Part 1

DURATION: Episodes 1-13 (300 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 4:3, English Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: 13+

Release Date: July 20, 2010

Originally created by Tahiko Kimura

Directed by Seiji Kishi

Series Composition by Makoto Uezu

Music by Yasuharu Takanashi

Character Design by Kazuaki Morita

Art Director: Maho Takahashi

Music Director: Satoki Iida

Anime Production: AIC, avex mode, GONZO

Featuring the following voice talent:

Halko Momoi/Alexis Tipton as San Seto (Sun Seto)

Takahiro Mizushima/Todd Haberkorn as Nagasumi Michishio

Daisuke Ono/Eric Vale as Kai Mikawa

Kenta Miyake/John Swasey as Gouzaburou Seto

Rika Morinaga/Caitlin Glass as Mawari Zenigata

Sakura Nogawa/Cherami Leigh as Luna Edomae (Lunar Edomae)

Monica Rial/Natsuko Kuwatani as Maki

Atsushi Imaruoka/Andy Mullins as Nagasumi’s Father

Noriko Namiki/Lydia Mackay as Nagasumi’s Mother

Eriko Matsushima/Juli Erickson as Nagasumi’s Grandmother

Vanilla Yamazaki/Linda Young as Narrator

Nagasumi’s in hot water after a beautiful, young mermaid named Sun saves him from drowning. The deep-sea sweetheart’s dad is a merman Yakuza prone to executing anyone who learns his family’s scaly secret! Luckily, there’s a catch – if Nagasumi agrees to marry Sun, he just might avoid sleeping with the fishes!

Of course, the honeymoon ends before it even begins when Nagasumi finds his life flooded with gilled gangsters looking out for their boss’s little girl. The kid’s definitely in over his head, but there’s no denying the mermaid’s allure – Nagasumi’s hooked and Sun’s ready to come ashore!

Since 2002, the manga series “Seto no Hanayome” by Tahiko Kimura has been entertaining readers of Monthly Gangan Wing (published by Square Enix).  The popularity of the manga series led to a drama series released in 2004 and in 2007, the manga received a 26-episode anime TV adaptation courtesy of Gonzo and now is being released on DVD in the U.S. courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment with the title “My Bride is a Mermaid”.

The anime series was directed by Seiji Kishi (“Galaxy Angel Rune”, “Angel Beats”, “Ragnarok the Animation”) and series composition by Makoto Uezu (“School Days”, “Sola”, “Yumeria”).  Character designs were done by Kazuaki Morita (“Nyan Koi!”, “Tentai Senshi Sunred”), art direction by Maho Takahashi (“Bamboo Blade”, “Tokko”, “Cobra the Animation”) and music by Yasuharu Takanashi (“Gantz”, “Hell Girl”, “Eyeshield 21”, “Halo Legends”, “Naruto Shippududen”).

“My Bride is a Mermaid” is an anime series that revolves around Nagasumi Michishino.  Nagasumi and his family go on a family vacation near the oceanside where Nagasumi’s grandmother lives.  While swimming, Nagasumi drowns but is rescued by a mermaid named Sun.

When Nagasumi comes to, he is found on rocks and when he tells his family that he thinks he was rescued by a mermaid, his mother and father think he is joking around.  But his grandmother has heard of the tales of mermaid in the sea and that if a mermaid is seen by a human, the mermaid must die or the human must marry the mermaid.

Of course, Nagasumi and family don’t believe the tale, until Sun makes her appearance and tells him that she wants to be his bride.

Of course, Nagasumi feels that he can’t do it because he’s a young guy but when he meets Sun’s family, he and his family realize that Sun’s family are like the yakuza and if Nagasumi does anything to cause harm to Sun, her father Gozaburo will kill him.  Also, her father and the Seto group are not exactly too fond of Nagasumi (because they seem him as a weak person and for Nagasumi taking his daughter away from him).

Nagasumi knows that she saved his life and by doing that, has risked her life by being seen by a human.  So, Nagasumi feels that he must do the right thing.  To have Sun as his bride.

But of course… life for both Nagasumi and Sun can get a bit complicated as Seto’s father is against the marriage, Sun’s rival wants to marry Nagasumi and the richest boy in Japan wants to marry Sun.  With all these obstacles, will Nagasumi and Sun ever get married?

“My Bride is a Mermaid” focuses on the following characters:

Nagasumi Michishio – The main character who drowned and was saved by a mermaid named Sun.  Because Sun was seen by a human, tradition is that the mermaid must die unless she becomes the bride of that human.  So, Nagasumi does all he can to care for his wife.  Unfortunately, the majority of the Seto group are against their marriage.

Sun Seto – A mermaid and the bride of Nagasumi.  The daughter of Gozaburo Seto, an underwater yakuza boss.  She loves Nagasumi with all her heart and although she doesn’t have the same mannerisms like the other yakuza members in the Seto group, she can show off her fighting skills if need be.

The Michishio Family – Nagasumi’s father is a jealous father when his wife starts to show interest in Seto Yakuza member Masa.  They are upbeat parents who tend to get on Nagasumi’s nerves.

The Seto Family – Gozaburo Seto is the boss of the Seto Group (an underwater yakuza group).  His love is all about his daughter Sun and hates Nagasumi for taking her away.  Ren Seto is the mother of Sun and is the family matriarch and Seto group disciplinarian.  She is supportive of Sun’s marriage to Nagasumi.

Other Characters:

Masa – A member of the Seto Group and helps to keep Gozaburo’s anger in check.  He is responsible in watching over Nagasumi and Sun.

Maki – An assassin of the Seto Group that is only a few inches tall and is fond of Sun and despises Nagasumi for taking Sun away.

Lunar Edomae – The childhood friend and rival of Sun.  Because Nagasumi also sees Lunar in her mermaid form, Lunar wants to take him away from Sun and also to one up her by wanting him to marry her.

Kai Mikawa – The richest boy in Japan and the son of the head of the multi-million dollar Mikawa Corporation.  He is also from the mermaid group and is a killer whale who wants to marry Sun.

Mawari Zenigata – The daughter of the police chief and childhood friend of Nagasumi.  She has always had a crush on Nagasumi and wants to become a police chief when she gets older.

Here is a basic summary of each episode on “My Bride is a Mermaid – Part 1”:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1 – The Yakuza Wife – How a teenage boy named Nagasumi became engaged to a mermaid named Sun.
  • EPISODE 2 – The Lord of the Ring – Nagasumi and Sun go on their first date at the Bon Festival.
  • EPISODE 3 – The Island Closest to Heaven – Sun and Nagasumi spend a whole day on a deserted island but a Seto assassin named Maki wants to eliminate him.
  • EPISODE 4 – It’s Tough Being a Man – Sun moves in with Nagasumi and his parents but life away from home underwater becomes a bit challenging for her.
  • EPISODE 5 – School in the Crosshairs – Sun attends her first day in school with Nagasumi.  But school is not easy for Nagasumi as all the teachers are members of the Seto Group.
  • EPISODE 6 – Faibles Femmes – Mawari sees Sun’s fish tail and believes that she may be a mermaid.
  • EPISODE 7 – V (The Visitors) – Nagasumi sees another girl named Lunar in her mermaid form and she makes him become her servant.  He also learns that Lunar is Sun’s friend/rival.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 8 – Duel – Sun and Lunar compete in a singing competition and the prize is Nagasumi.
  • EPISODE 9 – The Running Man – A merman named Kai Mikawa wants to marry Sun.
  • EPISODE 10 – Pumping Iron – An invincible man is stalking Nagasumi.
  • EPISODE 11 – Armageddon – Sun and Lunar go on a diet and Sun’s father gives her special mer-water.  But what happens when Nagasumi drinks it?
  • EPISODE 12 – A Slave of Love – Because of his predicament with Lunar (and seeing her as a mermaid), somehow Nagasumi ends up engaged to Lunar.
  • EPISODE 13 – Love Story – Lunar is forcing Nagasumi to marry her immediately.  Can Sun stop the wedding in time?

VIDEO:

“My Bride is a Mermaid” is presented in Widescreen 16:9.  I have to say that the anime series is pretty cool as it features various styles of animation and artwork plus there is a good amount of detail in the artistic backgrounds.  Gonzo did a fantastic job with this series and making the animation and surroundings so vibrant and beautiful to look at.

Although I am not too familiar with Tahiko Kimura’s work, I really dig the character designs by Kazuaki Morita and Gonzo staff just having a wild and crazy time with the various and different styles of designs for the characters.  May it be in normal mode, chibi mode, etc.  Art direction by Maho Takahashi also brings this series to life with the beautiful art backgrounds.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“My Bride is a Mermaid” is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Japanese stereo.  The series is front and center channel driven.  I felt the audio was well-done on both the English dub and the Japanese vocal track.  I’m a big fan of Haruko Momoi and it was great to see her play the role of Sun Seto.  I enjoyed the Japanese soundtrack but the English dub was done very well!

SPECIAL FEATURES:

My Bride is a Mermaid – Part 1″ comes with the textless opening and ending theme songs and FUNimation Entertainment trailers.

I have to say that having watched a few anime/mermaid series in Japan, “My Bride is a Mermaid” is probably the most humorous one thus far!  I will say the concept is not exactly new.  In fact, the concept of this anime series is very similar to the boy meets alien girl type of anime series such as “Urusei Yatsura” or “To Love RU”.  Where boy loves aliens and the alien parents (and boy’s female friend or girl’s male friend) who resent the engagement but somehow the main protagonists try to overcome the obstacles.

This time around, the girl is not an alien but a mermaid and instead of aliens who are geared to wipe out the planet, for “My Bride is a Mermaid”, her family happens to be yakuza members.  Sure they are mermaid/mermen but the Seto group are not to be screwed with or else…  So, despite the main protagonist Nagasumi being a weak character, he does show that he cares for his bride overtime.  But of course, with so many obstacles in the way, life for Nagasumi and Sun is not exactly going to be easy.

But what makes “My Bride is a Mermaid” so entertaining is the whole package.  The character designs showcase the characters in various styles and the artistic backgrounds really do compliment the characters.  Although not exactly a harem-style of anime series just yet (but has the potential to become that way possibly in the second volume), there are a bunch of wild and crazy characters in the series and for those who are looking for a fun and crazy style of series will find “My Bride is a Mermaid” one of the more enjoyable romantic comedy anime series released in 2010 in the US yet and a lot of emphasis on the comedy.

So, we’ll see how the anime series develops in the next volume but for now, for fans looking for a series that is well-rounded when it comes to an enjoyable storyline and characters, definitely give “My Bride is a Mermaid – Part 1” a chance!






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